Masiphumelele residents took a stand against looting with a peace march along Kommetjie Road on Thursday July 15.
A group of about 150 residents, carrying placards reading “Masi citizens say looting must fall in South Africa”, “Looting must stop”, “Keep your businesses safe” and “Western Cape please be proactive. No looting”, made their way down Kommetjie Road to the four-way crossing where they stood for about 25 minutes.
Masiphumelele Creative Hub founder Yandiswa Mazwana said she organised the march to create a positive energy in Masiphumelele.
This followed the rioting and looting that broke out across KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, following the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma. According to economists and business experts, the massive destruction of property and looting will cost the country billions.
According to Business Leadership South Africa’s chief executive officer, Busi Mavuso, more than 200 malls were targeted, over 800 stores were looted and 100 stores were destroyed by fires in KZN and Gauteng.
Ms Mazwana’s NPO was founded in 2017 and provides a safe, supportive and educational environment for the youth and community members to overcome their daily challenges.
“I wanted the youth in my group to engage in something positive. The youth are often targeted and involved with crime and I wanted them to send out a positive message” she said.
She said that as the word had spread, more Masiphumelele residents had come forward, wanting to join the march.
“We had a really good turnout,” she said.
Motorists, she said, had waved and hooted while they had been standing at the four-way-crossing.
The group then returned to Masiphumelele where religious leaders prayed for peace.
Fish Hoek Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman Jonathan Mills thanked members of the public who had helped to keep chaos and destruction out of the valley.
“To all those who rallied and hooted on Kommetjie Road against violence and looting and the neighbourhood watches and volunteers who stepped forward to join community response structures along with SAPS and law enforcement, we have seen that all parts of our community are united in a shared desire for a peaceful co-existence,” he said.